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Best Practices

7 Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Attract Top Talent

Brandice Payne | Author

Brandice Payne

Senior Manager, Content & Customer Marketing

Posted on

September 8, 2023

In March of 2022, the number of unemployed individuals per job opening hit a 15-year low and has stayed there.  The recent series of layoffs and hiring freezes may affect those numbers. Or the market could continue as it did in 2021 when Talent Ops teams posted more jobs and received fewer applicants despite higher unemployment levels.

This scenario not only intensifies the competition among job seekers but also makes it challenging for employers to find the right talent.

A significant number of the potential candidates you try to source will be folks who are employed when you reach out to them—perhaps in a stable job, they’re not actively planning to leave. Any job seekers who are searching for a different position are likely shopping around, waiting for a career opportunity that aligns with their values and expectations.

This is why your recruitment marketing efforts come in.

Understanding Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is the best way to reach ideal candidates, pique their interest in your company, and show them the ways your organization is ready to withstand market conditions while offering them a meaningful role in a thoughtful culture.

Employers can do this by actively investing in the continuous learning and professional development of their employees through workshops, courses, or allowances for external training. This helps them to not only be prepared to adapt to changing market conditions, but also ensure their workforce is equipped with the latest skills and knowledge.

Companies can also be transparent about the organization’s financial health, future projections, and strategies, which provide potential and current employees insight into the company’s stability and strategic plans, reinforcing its readiness and resilience against fluctuating market scenarios.

Talent isn’t likely to be searching job boards these days, nor will they jump at just any opportunity that comes their way. You need to act like you’re part of the digital marketing team and sell your target audience – in this case, the candidates – on the open positions at your company using tailored content, personalized nurture campaigns, and long-term, multi-channel engagement strategies.

The goal here isn’t only to get more applicants into your talent pool, it’s also to get the best talent to apply.

An effective recruitment marketing strategy helps cut through the noise so  passive candidates notice your company and position you as their dream employer. You can build a relationship with candidates even before you’re actively sourcing. The more touchpoints you have with candidates, the easier it is to persuade them to apply to opportunities you’ll present.

A strong recruitment marketing initiative also:

  • reduces time-to-hire

  • builds more diverse and more qualified pipelines

  • improves the candidate experience

  • boosts employee engagement and retention

Building a successful strategy is a tall order—but a hiring slowdown or pause is the best time to do this kind of work.

Set your goals

Use the SMART goals framework to determine the steps you’ll take to meet your company’s hiring needs. This method helps you arrive at practical goals by requiring them to be:

  • Specific: “Increase career site visitors…”

  • Measurable: “…by 10%…”

  • Attainable: “…which is reasonable because our monthly visitor numbers are only around 200…”

  • Relevant: “…and which will be valuable because our career site highlights the benefits of working with our company, along with employee spotlights…”

  • Time-Bound: “…by the end of June.”

Your final goal statement doesn’t need to be that verbose; you can just write, “10% increase in career site visitors by July.” But the thought process that goes into it should include all five points.

Most of your goals should have relatively short timelines—shoot for EOQ or a few months down the line. Your recruitment marketing strategy needs to be ready to shift with your organization’s needs or labor market conditions.

7 Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Attract Top Talent

Here are some marketing tactics you can use in your talent acquisition process.

1. Content Marketing

Keep your socials and your site active with a steady stream of posts that tie into your brand story while being relevant to your target candidates. Use the buyer’s journey as a guide to help you reach audiences who have never heard of you, along with those who know you well.

Just as potential customers must be won over before they purchase a product, potential employees need to be sold on your company’s mission, core values, and future before they’ll think about leaving a secure position.

Convince candidates to engage with you further by understanding and answering their questions at each stage:

  • Awareness: Candidates need to learn about your company and its relevance to their career goals. Focus on providing value to them where they are now as a way to build trust and brand awareness rather than trying to sell them on a new job.

  • Consideration: Candidates need to know what you could offer them as an employer. Build trust and make the case for why working at your org could be a step up from their current position.

  • Interest: Candidates need to know specifics so they can envision themselves in the job. It’s time to whip out the job descriptions for the open role or direct them straight to the job posting. At this point, you’ll be creating content to supplement the interview process.

  • Decision: Candidates need to be reassured that starting a new job with your company is the right choice. Share your company’s vision and value proposition for its employees alongside tangibles like perks, benefits, and details about the strength of your company’s outlook.

Good content comes in many forms, including newsletters, blog posts, videos, webinars, infographics, employee testimonials, podcasts, and events.

Ask your team members to contribute blog posts about projects, social posts about their experience at your company, or video testimonials sharing why they love their jobs. And don’t forget to refer back to your candidate personas as you plan content—you’ll want to have something for everyone.

It doesn’t have to be as creative as Google’s 2004 recruitment campaign to attract more visitors to your careers page. It needs to be a touchpoint that will introduce your company culture and why candidates should apply, like Dell Technologies’ video marketing content.

2. Social Recruiting

The vast majority of your prospective candidates are on social. Take advantage of that captive audience rather than expecting them to find you—and encourage passive talent to learn more by connecting on these sites.

Your company needs to have a presence wherever your target talent hangs out, whether that’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, or niche industry platforms.

Don’t treat your social media accounts as interchangeable. Start by optimizing on one platform that your users frequent. Test different content types and posting patterns to see which works best on each platform.

Encourage your employees to contribute to your efforts by amplifying employer branding and recruitment content to their networks. Interact with others in the space to build trust that will help you build a community around your brand.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Job Listings

Savvy job seekers and interested passive candidates will look beyond your website, so you need to curate your profiles across the web so they are consistent. Find (and claim, if necessary) your company’s pages on:

  • LinkedIn

  • Glassdoor

  • Comparably

  • Job boards (like Indeed or Monster)

  • Industry-related sites (like Built In or AngelList)

Respond and engage with reviewers if they leave comments. Handle any negative reviews with understanding and kindness.

On top of that, make sure that you use SEO across all of your online presence. This way, if a potential applicant searches a relevant keyword, they’ll see your job listings or profile in the search results.

Consider keywords that they might search for when they’re actively searching for a new job. Here are a few examples

  • [job title] role in [area], e.g. Marketing director roles in New York

  • [company name] [job title], e.g. Gem Account manager

  • [job type] [industry] [job title], e.g. full-time SaaS web developer

When deciding which keywords to use, make sure that you’re using the phrases your candidates would use to maximize your reach in major search engines.

4. Employee Referral Programs

An employee referral program is the easiest way to get qualified candidates. Use your current employees’ network to reach people who aren’t actively looking, whether it’s someone they’ve previously worked with, a friend from college, or just an acquaintance who seemed like a good fit.

Since they’d be putting their reputation on the line, employees would do an initial vetting to make sure that they’re introducing a good candidate. On top of that, you’d be borrowing your employees’ credibility from your candidate’s point of view.

If needed, you can encourage employees to refer people to your company using incentives–both monetary and non-monetary ones, such as extra time off or coupons.

To start an employee referral program, make sure that your employees know that the program exists, what kind of benefits or incentives they get if any, and the traits you’re looking for from a candidate.

5. Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising uses AI so you can reach more people with minimal investment. By using the algorithm, programmatic advertising platforms try to reach the right people at the right time, improving the possibility that they’ll take up your offer.

You can target people based on various factors, such as demographics, user behavior, search history, and many other data points that help advertising platforms place your ad in strategic positions.

6. Mobile Optimization

Make sure that your entire recruitment process can be completed through a mobile device.

Considering that 67% of job applications are made through a mobile device, having a mobile-friendly candidate experience is mandatory.

All of your touchpoints should be mobile-friendly, including your website, application form, progress tracking, and notification emails. Do a usability test and walk through the workflow on a mobile device if necessary to make sure the system still works seamlessly even when you’re using a mobile device.

7. Analytics and Reporting

A recruitment strategy isn’t complete without a method to measure success.

Decide which KPI and metrics you want to track before you launch a single recruitment marketing campaign.

Start by testing the career page for usability, as it’s the entry point of all of the applications going your way, but don’t rely on internal opinions. Be ready to make changes if you spot signs of friction like high bounce rates or partial form fills.

Beyond your website, you should also install analytics and tracking software at every touchpoint so you know where the points of friction are and can adjust accordingly.

You’ll need a platform where you can track the results of each step of your hiring process. Platforms like Gem offer best in class integrations with your tech stack so you can leverage automation, import your analytics data, and track the success of your recruitment and application process as a whole.

Gem Talent Marketing is Your One-stop Solution

Recruitment marketing is a great tool to build brand awareness that will help you gather ideal candidates even before you have any open positions. When you have any vacancies, ideal clients will have less hesitations about applying to work for your company, decreasing the time to hire.

We discussed a variety of recruitment marketing strategies you can use to attract top-tier job seekers.

Gem Talent Marketing helps you manage all of your marketing channels, create well-designed campaigns, and track the results of your campaigns from one platform.

See how Gem makes it easy for the talent acquisition team to manage every step of your recruitment process, from marketing, and sourcing, to pipeline management, using one platform.


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